Students at Furman University rallied against Trump’s order on immigration in February at the “Students For Solidarity Rally.” The event, held on the steps of Furman’s James B. Duke Library, was billed as “a showing of public opposition to the Executive Order banning refugees and Muslims from 7 countries from entering the United States.”
Prior to the rally, a petition circulated online, designed to “urge SGA to issue a statement regarding the security of students,” referring to Furman’s Student Government Association (SGA). The petition garnered 131 signatures out of its goal of 200, stating, “it is expected that SGA responds to political actions that create feelings of insecurity and exclusion for members of the student body.”
“Members of our Furman community remain fearful for their safety, their futures, and their pursuit of a Furman education,” the petition continued.
Over 150 people attended the event, holding signs with slogans such as, “Students For Solidarity,” “Hate Never,” “All are Welcome,” “Don’t Try to Ban Our Ideas,” and “I Believe in the Promise of America,” emblazoned with prohibitory symbols and the Statue of Liberty holding a refugee child.
According to the event’s organizer, Emilee O’Brien, “the rally was meant to create campus awareness about how the recent executive order and travel ban impacts students and faculty on the Furman campus.” She continued by saying, “it was a showing of public opposition to the ban as well as a visual of solidarity on our campus. We had community members and mostly Furman students and faculty.”
“We even had two members of the Clemson Fast at our rally tonight,” O’Brien concluded.
When asked which individuals she was referring to, she indicated that Clemson Professors Todd May and Mike Sears were attendees at the rally. May and Sears most recently made headlines for their participation in a week-long hunger strike dubbed, “The Fast Against Silence,” in a bid to pressure Clemson University to release a statement condemning the executive order.
In conjunction with controversial Clemson Professor Chenjerai Kumanyika, May and Sears planned a similar rally titled, “The March Against Silence,” at Clemson University.
These types of protest have shown to be all too common in South Carolina’s Upstate region. As the legal battle over President Trump’s executive order continues, there’s no doubt that protests will only intensify.